There are multiple methods for transporting a yacht. Transportation for delivery can include motoring, sailing which is also known as passaging and is more traditional. However, another method that’s becoming a more popular alternative to traditional methods is yacht shipping. Between shipping and traditional methods, yachts can be delivered to destinations worldwide.

Each method of transportation has it’s positive and negative aspects, which we will explain below. Choose which method is best for your circumstance.


This is considered a ‘rite of passage’ by more serious and dedicated sailors, but it also comes with great expense and high risks. Not only is it more expensive, it can be a burden on family and business. For those who are not fully dedicated find alternative transportation more important.

Methods of transportation

Overland Transports

It is common for smaller boats and yachts to get transported by commercial or private trailers within a short distance. With the increase of overland distance and boat size, it is typical for boat owners to employ commercial trailer services for transportation. Some provided aspects of commercial boat or yacht transporting include proper preparation, loading, trailer safety, transport permits and insurance coverage.

Deck Cargo

For longer distance transportation, or larger yachts they can be transported as deck cargo. The vessel can get loaded onto the deck a couple ways. They may be loaded by a ship, or they may use a shore crane for loading into a cradle, which is typically supplied by the owner or carrier.

As the deck cargo transportation is often directly arranged with the brokers or shipping lines specialized in shipping yachts via deck cargo. It is conventional for rigs to remain intact during deck cargo transport.

Container Shipment

This is another method of transporting yachts, as freight containers are generally sold based on total of enclosed volume. However, because of this yachts usually go through a derigging process to efficiently decrease container volume. When a yacht is within the container size restrictions, this method can be a good alternative. Container sizes are often 39ft x 7.5ft x 9.3ft.

To arrange transportation using a shipping container, the freight forwarders are contacted. The costs will include preparation expense, documentation, cradles, as well as customs fees and other government fees.

Semi-Submersible Ships

These are specially designed ships for moving larger cargo and common for yacht transport. They are able to submerge cargo holds by ballasting, allowing yachts to load themselves, then hull supports are welded in place before the ship deballasts.


The least expensive method of transporting your yacht would be a Semi-submersible ship. However, they commonly ship to limited destinations, such as the Bahamas, Canada or Mexico.  However, deck cargo transportation increases the flexibility of destination by giving many more options of port locations and timely delivery.